Church Matters: There is just the one service this Sunday, which will be Holy Communion at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am, with Kay Burnett leading.

Those in the know at the church thank everyone who helped at the Grand Messy Church Day on Wednesday last at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel. It was a great success which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.

MOPPs this week and next: Today, there are exercises with Annie Cryer or Zelly Restorick, and there’s a produce sale as well. Then it’s turkey and ham pie, followed by meringue, fruit and cream. Next Friday, August 21, singer Sharon Sellens will be along to entertain, the free toenail cutting service will be there too, and then it’ll be eyes down for ham, egg and chips and strawberry flan for afters.

Early closing: The sad news has been released that the project to turn our Post Office and General Store into a Community Shop has been brought to a close. From its inception, the whole idea had generated a good deal of interest and support, including that from both the Parish Council and Rother District, with local people subscribing for shares in the business which would allow them to have a say in the running, and a string of volunteers being prepared on stand-by ready to go on an operating roster for serving, delivering and all sorts of other practical help. Naturally, the support was not unanimous, and unfortunately the subscriptions made did not reach the target for which the plans had aimed. It then proved somewhat difficult to recruit and retain committee members who could offer the skills and time necessary for the project to succeed. However, an inspection team from the grant organisation visited the village and said the whole scheme was fine, and suitable to be a flagship operation for them. It transpired that the fairly new Power to Change organisation is concentrating its early grants on the support of existing community businesses, and by the time they extend their grants to those at an earlier stage of development, it may be too late for Fairlight.

It has also been unhelpful to see the extent of the radical excisions going on in the real world of the Post Office, if the current BBC series of documentaries about that world are analysed. It’s clearly a case of ‘put up or (literally) shut up!’ Meanwhile, the shop and Post Office facility remains on the open market. If we’re still a nation of shopkeepers, where are they all? Or, please, just a couple?!

Give this a look: Michael Dutton, of Argosy, 11 Rockmead Road, was the artist who created the extraordinary ‘Wave’ which was shown on the Circle, and this weekend he has an exhibition of his imaginative art at his home. The show is open on Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16, from 9 am to 6 pm daily. It’s called All Washed Up, and it’s made of bits and bobs he’s found along the seashore. Fascinating!

A lovely day for it: The powers that be smiled favourably on the Fairfest cliff picnic and litter picking session last Sunday, which took place in glorious weather, unlike that for the aborted Summer Bash to which so many had been looking forward just a fortnight earlier. Between 30 and 40 people braved the descent, and later retrieved many bags of unnecessary stuff found on the beach. Some of those involved had learned what would be happening and had walked along from Hastings to join in.

Valerie Tryon, pianist par excellence: Those lucky enough to have heard Valerie at her last recital in the village, at St Andrew’s, will be very pleased to learn that she is to return to Fairlight to give a further recital, this time at Fairlight Hall at 7.00 pm on Saturday, November 21. While the details are being finalised, it appears that tickets will cost £23.00, including wine and a programme. Those who know what a consummate artist she is, should pencil this date into their diaries now, ready to take action when more details are known. Valerie will also be playing at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls ten days later, on Tuesday, December 1 at 1 pm. Were there to be sufficient interest, a coach party could be organised to see, and hear, Valerie once again.

Pett Level Independent Rescue Boat Art Exhibition: The exhibition and sale of works, the third in successive years if memory serves, sees the local exhibiting artists donating a proportion of each sale price to the rescue boat, and this year the donated element totalled £163.

Don’t forget, too, that the Rescue Boat’s popular Open Day is only two weeks away, on Sunday, August 30. Starting at 12 noon, it will run until 4 pm. As suggested last week, the Boat’s operators would dearly like to meet and take on board (!) some newcomers, who should be keen to learn and get involved in what has become for many a very worthwhile and satisfying way of passing a little time. Why not have a word with someone in authority and get all the details while you’re enjoying the Open Day yourself?

Open Gardens Weekend, 2016: In the summers of 2012 and 2014, a considerable number of local residents opened their gardens in aid of our First Responders. Now there’s a plan for a similar Open Gardens weekend on June 11 and 12, 2016, though next year’s event will be aiming to raise money for the Preservation Trust, so that they, in their turn, may save the village from a watery end.

No doubt you love your garden, so how about letting others have a look and thus save our village.

Gardens don’t have to be weed free, pristine or designed by Titchmarsh. If you love your garden then we are pretty sure that others will too. If you are curious and could be tempted, and would like to know a bit more, why not go to the inaugural get-together, complete with tea, coffee and a chat on Sunday, September 6 at 10.30 am at Deforel, which is in Sea Road. If you are thinking of going, please let Roz know, either by email to roz@mrzen.co.uk, or by calling 0771 885 8517. Just because you’ve done it once or even twice before doesn’t mean people won’t be interested to have another look round, as the event appeals to all our innate If you’re new to the idea, it would be rewarding, not only for the Cliff Preservation, but also for the owners, who will make new friends and have a natter about green fingers with you.

Saturday Night at the Cove: Tomorrow night, Saturday, August 15, will see Bexhill-based band the Cabinaires on-song at the Cove. Give them a look!

Floral withdrawal?: We’ve had our own Fairlight Flower Show and then Pett’s, and just possibly you’re missing seeing the glorious exhibits. There is an answer, and it’s at Guestling Church Flower Festival next weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 21, 22 and 23, daily from 10 am to 5.30pm. As well as the floral exhibits, there will be refreshments, including ploughman’s lunch and cakes, and also bric-a-brac and book stalls, and a tombola.

Village Hall closure: Postponed from last week, the village hall will now be closed on Monday and Tuesday, August 24 and 25. This means it will be back, fully functional, for the Parish Council meeting on the Tuesday evening at 7.15 pm, but Players’ read-through for their November production on Monday, August 24 will be moved elsewhere. I’ll let you have the details next week.

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